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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  April 28, 2011 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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system that spun a monster storm that tore through alabama and five other states late yesterday. at dawn the number of people confirmed killed was around 82, but sadly the number of confirmed deaths has inched by the hour and has now grown to a staggering 249 lives lost in the storm so far. more than 162 people are from alabama alone, and right now search and rescue teams are still recovering bodies while trying to help those left with nothing. homes obliterated, personal belongings strewn for miles. this, in fact, a new home video of the tornado in tuscaloosa, alabama, reportedly a mile wide. the twisters also tore through mississippi and we're getting an up close look at the tornado as it destroyed everything in its path. in fact, take a look at this new video captured by a storm chaser.
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the storm then cut a line of devastation through georgia, tennessee, kentucky, and virginia. in less than an hour, president obama is expected to give a briefing on the storm. he'll head to alabama tomorrow to see the damage firsthand. and so far the president has sent fema director craig fugate to alabama to assess the damage. the cleanup will be massive. this is the deadliest outbreak of tornadoes since 1974. i'm joined live from tuscaloosa, one of the city that is seems to be leveled by this tornado. and again we see another picture of the damage behind you. >> reporter: well, when you mentioned that craig fugate is going to come here, this is what he's going to get a sample of. this is the amount of devastation he will witness. this entire block, and we're about a half mile away from the university of alabama, was completely wiped out. take a look over here. this is the home of 22-year-old angela smith. she and her husband got married just a few days ago. four days ago, and that tornado just basically devastated their home.
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she says that when this storm rolled through, she hid in the closet with her dog and prayed for her life. as she was doing that, the roof came off her house and just completely destroyed it. just down the street, if you can take a look further down there, you'll probably see one, two, three homes and then you will see an empty space. neighbors are telling us that three college students who went to the university of alabama died there last night when that storm came through and basically picked up the house and slammed it across the street into the house across the street, and you will see that going through here all down the street here as well. take a look at the trees. they are just toppled over on top of homes and cars. jessica strickland, who is a good friend of the three people, said that in just a few hours her life has now just been turned upside down. she came here today to take a look at the damage and we were, unfortunately, meeting her at the worst part of her life at this point. she was going through a car picking up belongings of her
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good friend. we saw a picture, it was very, very emotional for her. she says there are no words that can describe what you're seeing here. she says you have to see it to believe it. >> let me ask you about the warning, if any, that these people had. i imagine, you know, it's late afternoon, you've got groups of people who are perhaps home from work, kids home from school, what kind of warning, if any, did they get? >> they say there was substantial amount of warning. there was a good amount of coverage locally here on tv and the radio as well. they said sirens did go off here. as you can imagine it's very unpredictable to kind of plot out the path of a storm especially a strong, fast moving tornado. a lot of them just basically scrambled when they heard there were warnings. had a few minutes to kind of react. as i said before, angela smith said she didn't noah to do. she ran into the closet with her dog and prayed for her life. there was warning but people did have a lot of time to prepare themselves for what they see
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here today. >> what is being done to accommodate those who have lost everything? they don't have a home to return to at this hour. >> reporter: there are emergency shelters nearby and they're mostly in birmingham, but i think right now locally they're still trying to get a handle of where they need to move the resources. the mayor says that the infrastructure here in tuscaloosa has been completely decimated, so he's still trying to get a handle and they still have active search and rescue teams going through homes and neighborhoods right now trying to make sure there are no people in need missing or even worse. >> live for news tuscaloosa. that same storm system moved to georgia where seven people were killed. >> it was horrific. it lasted maybe 10, 15 seconds. when the tulactual tornado hit, looked like a bomb had hit our store. >> georgia governor nathan was
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was in town to survey the damage firsthand. chris warren has more from that devastated town. >> reporter: here in ringgold, georgia, you just look around and see the damage. this is what is left hft convenience store portion of a gas station. the entire roof is completely gone. no roof whatsoever. a few of the walls still remain. this side wall leading out to where you have the gas pumps completely gone, and look overhead. the cover over the gas pumps, look how mangled it is. that shows you just how strong this storm was when it came through bending this metal, twisting it around, and then from there the storm went that direction. it continued on to the east into the town, into downtown there in ringgold. we were there earlier this morning before they made us leave because they still wanted to finish up their search and rescue and recovery efforts but
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we saw a lot of damage. keep in mind a lot of this damage was to businesses and to homes and, of course, if someone loses their home, you know, you have to go out, you have to find a new place to live, and you also have to think of people's jobs as well. those businesses employed people, and now people may be without a home and possibly without a job. but the extent of this, the magnitude, we still won't know for quite some time because for now they won't even let us in there. that's the latest here from ringgold in georgia, back to you. >> chris, thank you. the damage and loss of life has been catastrophic. that incredible video was from mississippi. another vantage point of what people saw when that storm was in their path and this is what they were seeing firsthand. at least 32 people have been confirmed dead in mississippi alone. mississippi governor haley barbour said he will ask president obama for a federal disaster declaration for his state. in tennessee the violent weather stretched 185 miles from the southeast part of the state all the way to the northeast. 33 people were killed.
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flooding along the mississippi and ohio rivers are is making travel difficult. in virginia the governor has declared a state of emergency coming storms that killed at least three people there. most 69 deatof the deaths were the town of glade spring. the storms flipped tractor trail hers and trucks at a truck stop on interstate 81. this is the deadliest tornado outbreak in 40 years. for some perspective, 307 people were killed from illinois to alabama on april 3rd in what was called the super outbreak of 1974. in may of 1985, 76 people were killed across ohio, pennsylvania, new york, and canada. but the deadliest known tornado outbreak was back in march of 1925. 747 people were killed in what's known as the tristate tornado. and joining me now to talk more about the historic nature of the weather we're experiencing is the weather channel's nick walker. the first question people are wondering about is it seems every week we've had a deadly
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tornado at least in the past month and we can expect to see more next month. >> it's just been an amazing month of april, tamron, that's for sure. may is usually the peak month of tornadoes had any given year, and so it's kind of sary to think what perhaps may might turn out to be like certainly as we have seen this historic april. this storm in itself will go down in history as at least the deadliest storm since that 1974 storm, the super outbreak you mentioned, and we may even surpass it in terms of the number of tornadoes. we're still trying to count up the exact number of tornadoes and probably going to be a few days before we get that number. we have a preliminary count of almost 200 at this point, just amazing. the remnants of the storm here along the east coast. it spawned a tornado watch until 4:00, portions of virginia down into georgia and the carolinas. a severe thunderstorm watch up around new york state where we
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have seen wind gusts that have already downed power lines and trees in western new york. 83-mile-per-hour wind gusts at niagara falls, a semi overturned in genesee county. now the thunderstorms making their way through new york. fortunately, no warnings out on these right now baugh thereut t lot of rain coming down and dangerous lightning. we'll continue to watch on possibly tornadic storms around the carolinas. tornado warnings north of wilmington and around the interstates and southward into southern georgia and florida. hail and damaging winds are the biggest threat. friday a much calmer day, and then saturday a system pushes into the plains. by late in the day we may see spotty severe thunderstorms. certainly by sunday and into monday and tuesday if this looks a little all too familiar, it's over some of the same areas that have been hard hit. a lot of heavy and 234r5floodin
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rain. >> thank you, nick. coming up at the half hour mark, we'll talk to an alabama woman who was trapped inside her home when the tornado hit. how she was able to ride out that storm. for more coverage of the devastating tornadoes, log on to weather.msnbc.com. if you would like to help the victims, you can donate $10 to the red cross by texting red cross to 90999 or donate $10 to the salvation army by teching the word give to 80888. and in less than an hour, president obama expected to make a major announcement, changes to his national security team. we have a live report for you from the pentagon. plus, exxon reports stunning profits of nearly $11 billion at a time when americans are paying sky high prices at the pump. does the oil company deserve a tax break? it is today's "news nation" gut check. huh? mr. clean magic eraser kitchen scrubber with the grease-fighting power of dawn.
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welcome back. we continue to toll breaking news right now. new video in from smithville, mississippi. you can see the mass destruction in the town from yesterday's huge tornado. right now there are at least 249 people confirmed dead in 6 separate states. president obama is reaching out to the governors of those states to offer condolences and assistance. the president expected to speak at the white house in less than an hour and plans to tour the damage firsthand in alabama tomorrow. so stay with us for continuing coverage this hour. and president obama is also expected to announce big changes to his national security team. among them the president is expected to name cia director leon panetta to replace retiring defense secretary robert gates. and afghanistan commander general david petraeus would replace panetta as cia director. jim miklaszewski joins me now. this would be a fast moving situation if panetta is
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confirmed and we're also looking at the retirement of general petraeus. >> you know, panetta would take over at the pentagon for retiring secretary bob gates on july 1st. now, general petraeus is going to hang around there in afghanistan for that transition until at least september. so there will be a little more leeway there and there will be some kind of temporary interim director appointed at the cia to take panetta's place. both of these appointments are getting very marks, will be easily confirmed on capitol hill. not that there won't be some difficulties in some adjustme s adjustments. the big question will be what is this going to do for the ongoing war in afghanistan? now, i can tell from you a military standpoint, including those military officials who have worked closely with general david petraeus on that strategy, they don't see any immediate changes in that strategy. they do expect that drawdown mandated by the president to
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begin in january 2011, but the number of forces coming out initially will probably be very small and will not involve any combat troops. and there's a lot of speculation that because of these shifts, president obama intends to move more quickly to draw down those forces. but if you look at his past history, general -- or president obama has not fallen back on political expediency at the expense of military strategy. after all, he was very heavily criticized for agreeing to put an additional 30,000 u.s. troops into afghanistan in that surge operation, so some people here in the building feel confident that he's not going to immediately pull the plug and start pulling out large numbers of forces from afghanistan anytime soon, tamron. >> what about again the dynamic of general petraeus, he would retire and then thus lead the cia as a civilian. what's the reaction there? obviously, he's very popular
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both in and outside of washington. >> reporter: there's also a lot of speculation that many in the cia are not going to welcome a military officer, even retired, into that organization. but if you look at general petraeus' history, you find very little -- very few critics who will criticize his managerial or command or leadership style, and whatever general petraeus has to do to adapt to embrace the agency, i think he's goingwell-. as far as his experience and intelligence, he's been fighting the wars in iraq and afghanistan now for some ten years, heavily involving special operations forces, deeply involved in the intelligence of that aspect, so i think like panetta's move into the cia originally, which was a seamless transition for somebody who had no intel background, i think the petraeus takeover at
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the cia is going to be smooth. >> all right, thank you very much for the update. and a reminder, president obama will speak at 3:10 p.m. eastern time. thanks. coming up, new research finds autism could possibly be detected in children as young as a year old. what doctors say is a simple five-minute checklist parents can answer at a key age in their child's life to detect autism. plus, noer update on the deadly tornadoes that devastated six states. i'll talk to a birmingham woman who was trapped in her home during the twister. how she managed to survive, and she snapped these pictures. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] with amazing innovation, driven by relentless competition,
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devastation in birmingham and just home after home. you look at the bottom of the screen there, you have a home that appears at least intact, and then the next one, two, three, four homes decimated. look at that patch of land there. homes splintered while others seem to have been skipped by this massive storm. again, this storm is said to be the worst in four decades. more than 240 confirmed deaths. rescue and recovery ongoing right now. president obama will see some of this damage tomorrow when he visits alabama. it is a state of emergency in several states. six states affected by this monster of a storm, a historic storm, and when you look at this video, it does take your breath away when you think about those people who now have nothing and those who are wondering at this hour how they survived. we're going to talk with a woman who rode out the storm in her home and she was able to capture some video as well, but again,
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this is more from birmingham, alabama, just into msnbc, aerial video of the homes that are no longer there after that storm roared through this community late yesterday. wow. the final countdown is on for the royal wedding and today we're getting a new view of the royal keple. couple. we got a new picture. meanwhile, in a small english town where kate's family calls home, they're getting ready for the celebration of their own. nbc's keith miller is there. so, keith, what do they have planned? >> reporter: good morning. in fact, excuse me, good afternoon from here. not just here in buckle bury, but throughout england they will be having street parties to celebrate the marriage. an estimated half a million people will be participating. here much like everywhere else, you have people putting up
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bunting, having barbecues. they will be watching the ceremonies on these giant outdoor tv screens and perhaps singing along with the national anthem and basically participating, a lot of it of course will depend on the weather. it's at the moment uncertain. a bit cloudy, perhaps some rain. but if the royal couple are lucky, we'll get very good weather, but a huge turnout, and i thought you would want to know this, i got a couple statistics. there will be 2.5 million cocktail sausages searched at the street parties and 100 million pints of beer. i think basically we're talking about a massive street party. >> it sounds pretty fun. i think i'd skip the cocktail hotdogs and go for the beer. thank you very much. enjoy the day. we will see you tomorrow. and coming up at 3:00 p.m. eastern, you can catch martin bashir. he's live in london. msnbc's coverage of the royal wedding starts tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern and tomorrow chris jansing and martin will pick up
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our coverage live from london starting at 3:00 a.m. eastern. still ahead, former secretary of state condoleezza rice calls former defense secretary donald rumsfeld, quote, a grumpy guy. find out why. and we have more of our team coverage on that massive and unprecedented storm system that slammed the south and is moving to the east coast. we're expecting to hear from president obama about the devastation in just over a half hour. an update is next. well, v8 v-fusion juice gives you a full serving of vegetables, plus a full serving of fruit. but it just tastes like fruit. v8. what's your number?
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what happened to one couple when the twister touched down. >> reporter: angela is going it take us back where you pretty much survived this tornado, which is easily ef-3, ef-4 type damage, in that class set. >> with the dog. >> reporter: with the dog. we don't want to leave out that fact, with the dog. and a pillow which really helped. what happened? >> it's as simple as i got down, i got into safety and i knew it would be here shortly, power was out. i ducked in, got the dog, held on tight, and rode it out. it was as simple as that. >> reporter: 40 seconds, it's over, there's no roof, and you just walk out of the closet. >> well, called him first under the debris. honey, i'm safe, the dog is safe. i can see the sky but i need you. i got myself out, dog and i stepped out of the window here and we're good. we're safe. >> what is going through your mind? your wife is in the middle of a tornado. you're back at the college a few blocks away but obviously hard to get here with all the debris.
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>> yes, sir. i wain class, and they had made us stay because we had gotten the warning and they told us we couldn't go anywhere. they made us go down to the basement of the building i was at and somehow she was able to call me through all of that and my phone hadn't been working all day. it was a miracle she got through to me. she told me that our roof is gone, our house is gone, so i just left the building high tailed it to my truck and i got here. i had to park about a mile away and i sprinted all the way here and, you know, i met her and made sure she was okay. i was very nervous. i thought, you know, thank god nothing happened to her. >> reporter: is this pretty much reassure you you picked the write woman? >> definitely, definitely. too bad we're spending our honeymoon doing this. >> reporter: is this the honeymoon imagined is. >> hawaii would have been much better. >> reporter: you have a great story. hopefully it's all up hill frl here. hopefully the rest of it will be a breeze. thank you very much.
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>> thank you very much. >> reporter: again, proof that just getting in a closet, even during a tornado of this magnitude could save your life. just ask this little darling right here. a little silver lining here amongst all this devastation. back to you. >> that was jim cantore in tuscaloosa. in birmingham at least 24 deaths have been confirmed, including a child whose parents are still missing. i'm joined on the phone by lisa. she and her family were trapped in their home temporarily after uprooted trees fell onto the home and their cars. lisa, thank you for joining us. how are you today? >> thank you. i'm great, thank you. >> tell me what happened. >> well, i heard the tornado sirens going off and, of course, i decided to ignore them. when i turned on the news and the news anchor said that the tornadoes were hitting miles down the road from us and that the winds were up to 100 miles per hour, at that time i decided to -- i told my husband, i said
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let's grab our 2-year-old because her room is full of glass. i went to get her, and as i grabbed her and was walking out of her room, trees just started hitting onto our house. i grabbed her and my husband and we jumped into a tiny hall closet as the trees were coming onto the home. one landed right on my daughter's room and one was right on top of our room where we were just at. we stayed in the closet for about a minute or two and then it was all over. >> a minute or two must have felt like an eternity. you have your daughter, your baby with you. you don't know what's going on outside of that closet. >> it was awful. i was pretty much having an anxiety attack i think. all i could hear was this booming noise and when my husband stepped out he just said, oh, my goodness. he looked outside and our entire neighborhood i think probably 90% of the trees in our
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neighborhood had uprooted, had fallen onto all of the homes, all of the cars, onto everything. it was awful. >> lisa, we have been showing while you were accounting what happened, giving us an account of what happened, the pictures you were able to take. so when you got out of that closet and you walked out with your camera, what was going through your mind? >> i was just in complete shock. you know, you see this happen on tv in other areas, but i guess you don't ever really think about it happening to your family. >> yeah. >> and i just looked and my husband was running to check all the neighbors, but i mean trees were everywhere. you couldn't really move, and these are huge, huge pine trees that had fallen down. you could barely get over crazy. >> 24 deaths confirmed so far, including a child, and the child's parents are still missing. and to know that you were able
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to ride that storm with your daughter -- you luckily got her out of that room. i know you have to be so thankful today. >> oh, you don't even -- i can't even imagine what that family is going through. just holding her in that closet, i was just sitting there praying, and then when it ended, i was so thankful just for us to be okay. >> yeah. >> that could have been so much worse. we were so fortunate to have come out of this with no injuries in our neighborhood. our family is okay. we're just very fortunate. >> our thoughts are with you and all of the other families in those states affected by this storm and thank you for telling us your story and being so brave today. thank you. >> thank you. >> absolutely. and take a look at this dramatic video. this was captured by christopher england, he's from the university of alabama crimson tide productions team. he spoke this morning on the "today" show. >> i said, you know what? this may be one of the only opportunities this is captured.
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i turned around and stayed up there as long as i thought i could. >> so many people have tried to describe what we're seeing. tuscaloosa's mayor called what we're seeing utter destruction. and now to a green county, tennessee, where at least six people have been confirmed dead. angela yingling is a reporter with wcyb. >> reporter: this is the camp creek section in northeast tennessee. it's a very mountainous part of the state, somewhere where people say they never expected this kind of storm to happen. behind me the local sheriff's department is controlling traffic because most of the damage is about four miles down the road an they're trying to control the people who head back that way. we got a chance to ride with sheriff's deputies earlier this morning and take a look at some of the damage. it is truly hard to put words into what we saw this morning. check out some video that we have, homes are simply destroyed. there were many mobile homes in this rural community. many of them look as though they simply exploded. there are just piles of debris everywhere. items from people's bedrooms
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just hanging in trees. insulation from houses looks like snow on branches. it's truly hard to describe. i talked with many people who have lived here their whole lives and they say they simply never imagined this happening here in their community. now, rescue crews from all over the region are still out today. making sure everyone is accounted for. there have been six confirmed deaths. they're just going through to make sure all family and friends are accounted for here in camp creek. now, we have some updates from the american red cross who have several shelters in the county. at one point last night during the severe weather 200 people filled the shelters. those numbers are down to 45 people now. i'm told those 45 people have lost everything. 11 people still remain in local hospitals and i'm also told those people lost everything as well. now they're just focusing on recovering. so there's a lot of people here working to pick up the pieces of what will be a likely lengthy cleanup process. >> angela, thank you. now, let's bring in nbc's
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chris clackum in pleasant grove, alabama. we know there are thousands without power in that state. >> reporter: there are, indeed, tamron. in fact about 1 million people remain without power, and you can just look at this utter devastation that you see here in the community of pleasant grove, which is just southeast of birmingham. the national weather service now saying that something like 160 tornadoes were spawned from that severe weather system that moved across six states on wednesday creating havoc like this in community after community. the death toll in those six states now stands at about 248. 160 or more of those fatalities occurred right here in alabama. the governor declaring a state of emergency asking for federal assistance as people plow through what remains of their homes, and he got a quick
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response from president obama who after seeing the damage on the television himself just quickly concurred that the state of alabama needs some help and needs some help quickly. the president will be coming here tomorrow to assess the damage himself on his way to cape canaveral for the final launch of the shuttle "endeavour." >> it's interesting, i see the people behind you and they're walking, and i imagine you're hearing a lot of interesting stories and perspective. what are some of the things folks are saying? are they just trying to find anything at this point they can salvage? >> reporter: well, it's very striking at this particular point that you keep asking people, did you receive warning that these storms were coming, and they said, yeah, but the storm was so massive, it spawned so many tornadoes, that there was no safe place to go. as much as they tried to do. this storm was by all estimates about 300 miles wide as it moved
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through those six southern states wednesday and overnight last night. >> chris, thank you very much for the live report there. and by the way, the red cross is already on the ground helping those victims. i'm talk to someone from the relief organization to find out how you can help. for more coverage logon to weather.msnbc.com. and this time tomorrow space shuttle "endeavour" will be getting ready to soar into suppose on its final mission. president obama and the first family as well as congresswoman gabrielle giffords will all be there. a live report from cape canaveral next. u first, there's a lot going on today. here are some things we thought you should know. u.s. marines are being trained how to accept gay recruits as the military prepares for gays to openly serve ending the don't ask, don't tell policy. and the latest round of training materials asks marines to consider their reactions to a range of scenarios including seeing a fellow member participate in a gay rights parade. training began earlier this year
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and is expected to finish up by the end of the summer. and condoleezza rise has finally responded to charges in donald rumsfeld's memory war that she was never critical of president bush's position. in an interview rice said, quote, we tended to do it privately. she also said don can be a grumpy guy. we all know that. those are the things we just thought you should know.
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preparations have been made. now it's just a matter of getting everyone to the church on time. and we have some breaking news. regarding the case that involved jay see due guard, you might recall she was the girl who was kidnapped back in 1991. the two people who kidnapped her have agreed to plead guilty. phillip and nancy garrido pled guilty to various sexual assault charges, both phillip and nancy garrido will receive life in prison at their sentencing hearing which is expected to happen june 2nd. so this in just now. the husband and wife have pled guilty to kidnapping jaycee dugard. brand new video out of birmingham, alabama, the aftermath of the devastating storm that's pummeling the south right now or portions of it. the incredible aerial shots show
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a scene of utter devastation. the homes completely demolishes. suzanne is a volunteer at the red cross. tell me a little bit about how you are assessing not only how people are dealing with this damage but from your own experience what this looks like. >> well, it's absolutely overwhelming. you know, everyone who comes into our shelter has a very similar story. they're talking about where they were last night when the tornado struck, and they're talking about what's left of their home, if anything. a lot of them are trying to connect with missing family members. so it's just an overwhelming scene at the shelter. everyone is trying to get some assistance and the red cross and all of our voluntary partners are doing our best to help them. >> and i know that you apparently rode out the storm in your bathtub. you're still finding time to
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volunteer. what are the things the red cross needs at this point? >> the red cross really needs financial support. there are 19 shelters across alabama. we had 500 individuals in the tuscaloosa shelter alone last night, and it's just going to be -- it's just going to exceed any past disaster we've had here in the state of alabama. we really need people to go if they want to text for a $10 donation, they can text the word red cross with no spaces to 90999. if they want to donate more than $10, they can go on to redcross.org or they can call 1-800-redcross. jinds there >> i understand there's been counseling afforded to these people -- we keep showing the image of this one woman who is just crying in the street, screaming. you're helping people who are dealing with this. >> we have mental health counselors providing emotional
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support because, as you can imagine, there's so many people who are distraught. we also have medical professionals, nurses and doctors, on hand because a lot of people are coming in with injuries or other medical conditions. you can imagine if you lost your prescription medication, you need somebody to help you fill it. so we have a lot of medical professionals on hand as well. >> suzanne, we greatly appreciate you coming on. you know you and the other volunteers are very busy and we're thankful you're there to help the people in tuscaloosa. thank you. >> thank you. >> absolutely. if you'd like to help the victims you can donate as suzanne mentioned, $10 to the red cross by texting red cross to 90999 or donate $10 to the salvation army by texting give to 80888. it's 25 hours until the space shuttle "endeavour" is scheduled to blast off on its final mission. liftoff is set for 3:47 p.m. eastern time tomorrow. "endeavour" will head to the international space station and congresswoman gabrielle giffords will be on hand to watch her
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husband, "endeavour" commander mark kelly's" final shuttle launch. the president obama and the first lady will be there. jay barbarie joins us live from the kennedy space center. to see congresswoman giffords there with her husband is an emotional one, but also people looking tend of the space program there. >> reporter: it sure is. right now the countdown is on schedule and in 25 hours from now, 3:47 tomorrow afternoon. now, we have learned that congresswoman giffords will be out here on the center and she will be in her own private place with her nurse and her mother watching her husband climb into space, as you said, for the final time. now this is next to the last launch and the president and his family will be here also to watch "endeavour" climb into space. the only remaining shuttle to
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fly will be "atlantis." right now it's scheduled for june 28th, but it could very well slip into later this summer. so we're getting down to the point here where the final launch team of the shuttle, 2,800 people will be laid off following the next launch in the summertime. where we go from there, a lot of people are expecting a hiatus of five to seven years before another american astronaut lifts off from cape canaveral, florida. in the meantime, they will be hitching rides on board the russian rockets. so it's getting down to the end. >> yeah, it is, jay. thank you very much, and i know we'll be talking with you more tomorrow. thank you, jay. >> reporter: thank you, tamron. doctors now have a new way to screen infants for signs of autism. pediatricians have developed they say a five-minute checklist to run through when babies come in for their first year well
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visit. the questionnaire reportedly identified about half of children who eventually would be diagnosed with autism. the cdc says one in every 110 children are autistic. and still ahead, at a type when americans are paying so much more, in fact, $4 for a gallon of gas, exxon brings in nearly $11 billion, its best earning since 2008 if you're counting. what does your gut tell but it? should tax breaks for big oil companies end? it is today's "news nation" gut check. oh. ooh. happy birthday todd. it's for a cough... from allergies... [ male announcer ] halls relieves coughs and sore throats due to allergies too. now you know. until the combination of three good probiotics in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work.
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[ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. and here's what we did today in homes all across america: we created the electricity that powered the alarm clocks and brewed the coffee. we heated the bathwater and gave kelly a cleaner ride to school. cooked the cube steaks and steamed the veggies. entertained dad, and mom, and a neighbor or two. kept watch on the house when they slept. and tomorrow we could do even more. we're cleaner, domestic, abundant and ready now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power today. learn more at anga.us. [ male announcer ] in 2011, at&t is at work, building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity, and investing billions of dollars to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible.
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at&t. rethink possible.
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you can join the "news nation" by e-mailing me -- it's time now for the "news nation" gut check. a good one here. as the national average for
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regular gas approaches $4 a gallon, giant oil companies report soaring profits. exxonmobil announced today it earned $10.6 billion in the first quarter. that's a 69% increase from a year ago but not a record. exxonmobil set a record when it earned $14.83 billion in the third quarter of 2008 before the financial collapse. meantime, royal dutch shell, says it's first quarter profit rose 60% from a year ago to $8.7 billion. and yesterday conocophillips reported its profit rise 44% to a little over $3 billion. but because of the gulf oil disaster bp's earnings tell 2% to $5.4 billion and chevron reports its earnings tomorrow. exxonmobil's vice president of public affairs has gone on the offensive you might say insisting less than 3% of the company's earns are from u.s. gasoline sales. he adds how are pump prices set at ex yob and mobil stations,
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local stations are often owned by a businessman or businesswoman in your munt and they set their own prices. he also took aim at president obama and other democrats in an effort to want to repeal a $4 billion oil industry tax incentive saying, quote, we understand it's simply too irresistible for many politicians in times of high oil prices and high earnings. they feel they have to demonize our industry. should congress repeal tax breaks and subsidies for oil companies or will doing so reduce oil and natural gas exploration and cut jobs as some republican leaders and opponents warn? go to newsnation.msnbc.com to cast your vote. will the release of the long form of president obama's birth certificate put the birth issue to rest? well, over 51,000 of you voted. 38% of you say yes. 62% say no, and those who
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question the president's birth place won't change their minds, that you feel it's been ingrained. that does it for this thursday edition of "news nation." i'm tamron hall. tomorrow we'll have a complete recap of the royal wedding plus a preview of the final launch of the space shuttle "endeavour" which congresswoman gabrielle giffords and the first family will be attending. and we'll also, of course, have an update on those storms and the damage and the president's village to alabama. martin bashir is live from london. he's up next. you never update me. so, now i just have to wing it. i meant turn left up ahead. recalculating. turn right now! [ horn honks, tires screech ] [ laughs ] [ crash! ] and your fifteen-minute insurance might not pay for all this. so get allstate. you could save money and be better protected from mayhem like me. recalculating. [ dennis ] dollar for dollar nobody protects you from mayhem like allstate.
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my benjamin, he helped me with the countdown. "5 days, mom. 10 days, mom." i think after 30 days he got tired of counting! [ male announcer ] talk to your doctor to find out if chantix is right for you. learn about the chantix challenge. chantix may not work for everyone. if you aren't quit after 12 weeks, we'll refund your cost of trying it. learn more at chantix.com. goods afternoon. it's thursday, april 28th, and here is what's happening. pray for us. the worst tornado strikes in a generation. the heavens rip open and hell let loose. an unprecedented death toll in the modern age. we're live on the scene. also, the president set to name his new intelligence team. three wars being fought in three countries. so who would really want those jobs? and she's got the job. she just has to

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